Conservative Party chairman, Oliver Dowden, warned activists to expect more of a fight than at the 2019 general election, which resulted in Boris’ 80-seat landslide. He told them to fight a two-year general election campaign, starting with the local polls this coming May.
Labour’s recent upsurge in the polls has given Keir Starmer and co the belief that they can take this one to the wire, at least getting as close as 2015, when David Cameron scraped home by 12 seats.
The fight they will both need to win is the one against apathy. For the two-party system we have now has killed representative democracy in a way that was never envisaged when the “First past the post” rules were set in place. No longer do we have anyone representing our areas, we merely have a nominal figure, sometimes “parachuted” in from miles away.
Take Northampton South, for instance, when Conservative MP David Mackintosh stood down in the face of a police investigation, in came Andrew Lewer. Mr Lewer was the former leader of Derbyshire County Council and although his role as an East Midlands MEP covered his new constituency, he lived at the other end of the region.
With the recent by-election in Birmingham Erdington polling down to just 27%, it shows there is an appetite for change. People have had enough of the same old, same old. What it needs is for the smaller parties to target the big two instead of each other.